With the birth of my third child, I experienced postpartum depression that lasted for 3 years. During this time, I felt so much shame and guilt, which only propelled me further into the depressive state. I felt shame for not being happy with my position in life. I was fortunate enough to stay at home with my kids, and I had three beautiful children and a wonderful husband. How could I be depressed? I felt shame for not being able to enjoy my children, shame for not being able to pull myself out of it, and shame for not being a balanced mother. I would fly off the handle and yell almost every day over small things. I was also fearful that if I admitted these feelings, I would experience judgment from others.
As I began to feel more desperate, I began praying. I loved my children, and I wanted to enjoy my time with them instead of feeling guilty and upset all of the time. I needed to find help so I could be happy. Eventually, I returned to work, which for me was enough to lift me out of the fog. I was prepared to go to a professional if needed, but having an extended break away from the many responsibilities of being a mother helped me to finally have light.
Looking back now, I realize that the depression is what was telling me I needed to be ashamed. It also fooled me into thinking that more shame would come from others if I shared my feelings with those around me. I clearly see that my friends and family would only have loved me more and done anything to help me if I had only spoken up. Please reach out to other mothers, your family, and your friends. This is more common than we know and realize.